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Showing posts from May, 2019

Compton Acres

Nestled in Poole's prestigious Canford Cliffs is a hidden oasis of colour and nature. Compton Acres is a multi-themed collection of beautiful gardens, cafés, shops and event spaces, designed for relaxation and exploration. The themes include Japanese, woodland and Italian, each landscaped with beautiful explosions of flora, forna and sympathetic sculptures.
The thing that struck me about Compton Acres is the peacefulness of the astonishingly large gardens. You easily forget that you are in the middle of a busy residential area, just off of the main road to one of the most famous beaches in the world. You cannot hear the traffic, or hustle and bustle of the local shopping area. You can't even hear noise from the Italian Villa event space. You are lost in the buzz of bumble bees, rustling of trees and the soft hum of the breeze across ponds and flowers.
As I pushed the buggy easily around the buggy and wheelchair friendly paths, I encountered a few other visitors, but really fel…

Miss and Mr Dorset Finalists

Pageants are enjoying somewhat of a revival in that last few years, shedding their ‘world peace’ and identikit blonde, beauty queen image. With many of the national and international pageants dropping swimwear in favour of fitness or athleticism rounds and focusing more on community service than body measurements, young women and indeed men, are looking to pageantry as a way to boost their confidence and develop their careers.
In fact my journey into pageantry started with a desire to champion a cause, rather than win a sparkly crown. I was struggling with the devastating effects of long-term infertility and specifically the shame that is caused by the silence surrounding struggling to conceive, despite the fact that infertility affects 1 in 6 couples, which equates to over 3 million people. I saw pageantry as a way to raise the profile of infertility conversation and support Fertility Network UK, turning my very negative circumstance into a positive.
I certainly did not expect to win…

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse

This weekend, Lily, Jamie and I were invited to visit the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse in Dorchester. The museum is famous for the Tolpuddle Martyrs trial and promised an interactive and engaging day out for all the family. We certainly weren't disappointed.
From the moment we arrived, we could feel the absolute enthusiasm the staff and volunteers have for the stories behind Shire Hall. We were handed audio tour sets and found the commentary really interesting. The cases and stories really brought each room to life. In fact at the start we were asked to choose a case that we followed around the museum, becoming more and more eager to find out the verdict.
The films helped to humanise an understanding of law throughout the duration of Shire Hall's history. Each area had an interactive activity, designed to pique the interest of younger visitors. Whilst Lily is only 10-months old, there was so much to keep her entertained. She loved the films and exploring the cells in particu…

Stables Bournemouth Pizza School

On Tuesday I was invited to Stables Bournemouth for their pizza school. Winning! What I love most about Stables' pizza is the thin crust and the locally sourced toppings. Their pizza's are light, flavoursome and so very satisfying but without the stodgy bloating of most take away/restaurant pizzas. I was intrigued to find out more.
Chef Campbell - Executive Chef for the Stables group was on hand to show us from scratch how they make these ever-popular, often sell out pizzas. Starting with the sauce, we learnt about the fresh ingredients including basil, tomatoes and garlic to name just a few. The sauce is so often forgotten but provides the foundation for the perfect pizza. Chef demonstrated the best step by step order to bring out the flavours of the fresh ingredients and we learnt how not to cover ourselves in sauce when adding liquid ingredients (so simple and I know we have all coated the splashback in sauce before).
Once the sauce was simmering and we were salivating (we …

Dreamcatcher Sleepover Parties

What do you do when you are charged with organising a dear friend's special send-off, but they are super low key and anti-phallic paraphernalia? No, don't panic, Dreamcatcher Sleepover Parties have the answer. Pamper parties instead of the more traditional boisterous and boozy nights out are becoming more and more popular. With most of us being more budget conscious, spa weekends or a week in Spain are not always an option, so a pamper sleepover party with Dreamcatcher Sleepover Parties could be the answer.
So what is an adult sleepover party? In a nutshell, Dreamcatcher Sleepover Parties come to your house or location and set up the most beautiful teepees, complete with mattresses, sumptuous bedding and gorgeous details. Who can resist lanterns, flowers and fairy lights? They also set up a breakfast tray with each teepee, perfect for treats and pamper goodies. All you need to do is provide the food and bubbles. Simple!
Initially I found the idea of organising a low-key hen do…

Lollipops Play Café - A Review

Lily and I were invited to visit the newly refurbished Lollipops Play Café in the heart of bustling Westbourne. We have tried soft play before, but found them to either be dark and cramped, or designed for older children and unsuitable for pre-walkers. Well Lollipops couldn't have been more different. Situated in an old church building, Lollipops is unique, spacious and flooded with natural light. From the moment you walk through the safety gate you feel a warm and welcoming atmosphere. A refreshing change from the usual rule-heavy chaos of other soft play in the area.
The soft play area is over three floors and has a dedicated area for pre-walkers. Lily has been hit and miss with these pre-walkers areas before, as they often only contain a few soft blocks and a soft play rocker, but not much to entertain. They often feel like an afterthought. This is not the case at Lollipops, who have filled this area with age appropriate toys and activities. I could see the difference in Lily i…